America’s leading review of the arts and intellectual life
On the sadness of higher education
On comparing the university life then with now.
was right!Support The
The academic world that I first encountered was one of both intellectual beauty and profound flaws. I was taught at Princeton, in the early 1960s—in history and literature, above all—before the congeries that we term “the Sixties” began. Most of my professors were probably men of the Left—that’s what the surveys tell me—but that fact was never apparent to me, because, except in rare cases, their politics or even their ideological leanings were not inferable from their teaching or syllabi. Reasoned and informed dissent from professorial devil’s advocacy or interpretation was encouraged and rewarded, including challenges to the very terms of an examination question. In retrospect, professors who must have disagreed fundamentally with works such as David Donald’s Lincoln Reconsidered (with its celebrated explanation of the abolitionists’ contempt for Lincoln in terms of the loss of status ...
This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 26 May 2008, on page 9
Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/On-the-sadness-of-higher-education-3831
E-mail to friend
How humanities professors are letting identity politics destroy their discipline.
Revisiting the philosopher through his personal notebooks
November 04 2014
Friends and Young Friends Event: Election Night Party
November 12 2014
Friends and Young Friends Event: Book Launch Party with Andrew Roberts
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"